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As catastrophes unfold, have our leaders got the message yet?

It's never been clearer that the climate crisis is here now. Below are news stories from just the past few weeks describing catastrophes from around the world. This should be enough to push world leaders into action on climate. But this week's G20 talks anticipated a 'tepid' outcome on climate.

At the time of writing just 100 days remain until the COP26 summit, and the UK government is issuing new oil drilling licences while ignoring the gap between its emissions targets and a lack of policies to meet them. We have to speak out and ensure the voices of those on the front lines of climate change are heard.

Heatwaves, drought and fire

Madagascar

Madagascar is on the brink of a famine it played little part in creating. In Southern Madagascar, a four-year drought and vicious sandstorms have destroyed crops and turned arable land to desert. As many as 500,000 are nearing starvation.

North America

‘Nowhere is safe’: heat shatters vision of Pacific north-west as climate refuge. A 'heat dome' brought unprecedented heat to the US Pacific north-west and western Canada. Known for mild summers, cities were unprepared for record temperatures of up to 42.2C (Seattle) and 46.7C (Portland, Oregon). Some inland areas managed to get up to 118F (47.8C). Hospitals suddenly found themselves overwhelmed, with several hundred people believed to have died in the heat. The town of Lytton shattered the previous heat record for Canada (45C), reaching 49.5C before residents fled a devastating wildfire, which destroyed large parts of the town. Temperature records are usually broken by fractions of degrees.

Resist G7

 
Tony Staunton is a member of the Campaign against Climate Change steering group and one of the founding members of the Resist G7 coalition, initiated by grassroots activists in Cornwall and the South West. Here he sets out how climate justice is not on the table at the G7 and the need to resist.
 
The G7 is a meeting of the world's most powerful political leaders, scheduled for 11th-13th June 2021 in the UK. These leaders govern the richest countries in the world in their own interests, and the G7 exists to keep it that way.  
 
These government ministers will sit behind military security to meet at a luxury hotel complex in one the most picturesque but poorest regions of Europe - Cornwall. Resetting the global economy after the Pandemic will be the key discussion throughout, with the Climate Emergency centre-fold and used to dominate the media with messages of new economic growth through questionable "Green Technologies", promoted by billionaire Bill Gates and his ilk.
 
Global capitalism - the neoliberal free-market domination of the transnational corporations for agrochemicals, industrial agriculture, biofuels, together with the so-called Negative Emissions Technology (NET) of Carbon-Capture-and-Storage, mini-nuclear power plants and carbon trading - is the default setting.
 
The G7 wealthiest nations, hosted by UK Prime Minister Johnson, has invited India's Prime Minister Modi, currently assaulting millions of small farmers to enforce corporate dominance of food markets, and Australia's Morrison, the coal and uranium enthusiast.
 
The headlines from the G7 will be a prelude to what can be expected from the COP26 deliberations in November, once again led by the UK. 
 
The Campaign against Climate Change is supporting the Resist G7 Coalition established soon after the venue was announced. Based in Cornwall, England, the Coalition has issued the call for action in every community, town and city with a day of action for Climate on Friday 11th June and an international manifestation of opposition to G7 neoliberalism on Saturday12th.
 
Local protests will take place in Cornwall, with convergence centres and counter-conferences in Penzance and Falmouth. The continuing risk from COVID variants makes the long journey to Cornwall by coach unsafe, and any physical protests called by the Coalition will seek to ensure ensure social distancing and personal protection. 

Stop funding for fossil fuels abroad NOW

 

It's not a good look for a country claiming to be a climate leader to be providing massive financial support for fossil fuel projects abroad. Last summer it was revealed that the UK government’s foreign credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF) with a history of backing fossil fuel projects will underwrite oil company Total's exploitation of Mozambique's gas reserves with loans and guarantees worth over one billion dollars. As well as climate pollution, this fossil fuel megaproject has also caused forcible evictions of thousands already and threatens local ecosystems.

Hit by accusations of hypocrisy, Boris Johnson finally announced in December that the UK would stop funding fossil fuel projects overseas.

But it appears that UK Export Finance, the UK's biggest funder of overseas fossil fuels, is still considering applications from at least 17 projects, including the gigantic East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline, which it could try to fund before the ban comes into place.

Our friends at Global Justice Now have set up a simple online action to allow you to respond to the government consultation and call for the ban to be:

- Immediate

- Comprehensive, disallowing technical assistance for fossil fuel projects and indirect investments

- Not allowing exemptions for gas, carbon capture and storage (CCS) or for any hydrogen produced using fossil fuels. 

And that UK institutions and institutions in receipt of UK ODA should divest from their fossil fuel investments on the earliest possible time frame. 

The deadline for responding to the consultation is Monday 8th February

Click here to take action

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